June 3, 2020 Meeting Update

Here are the key items discussed at Council’s June 3rd meeting. Moving forward continues to be on our agenda.

On March 14, twelve people attended an emergency Council meeting and decided to cancel worship services for three Sundays, beginning the next day. Little did we imagine how our lives would be affected. Now, three months later, a similar small group will begin planning for re-entry to our church building whenever that is allowed. The group’s task is to consider the many aspects that will be affected by public health guidelines. Working group members are Lorraine Holding and Mark Sears (Council), Dave Hume (Property), Karyn Davies (Worship), Marilyn Sears (Ministry & Personnel), Megan Ward (public health advisor), Wendy Guilmette and David Kucherepa (staff team), Joan Barham (Communication) and Brian Magee (Finance).

Interested Harcourt folks are invited to the Guelph United Ministries (GUM) Town Hall #2 on Thursday, June 11 (7:00 – 8:30pm). The focus question: How will COVID-19 change the way we serve our community? The Zoom link information is below. Facilitator Rev. Paul Miller would appreciate your RSVP by email.

For several months, the GUM Repurposing Church Property Group contracted with the John F. Wood Centre for Business and Student Enterprise (UofGuelph) to collaborate on a student project to explore possible real estate uses. Possibilities that could support community needs while at the same time giving the churches sustainable business plans was the context. Last fall, Three Willows received recommendations from the first group of students. Council has received the winter semester students’ project report. Suggestions focused on ways to increase rentals at Harcourt, Dublin and Trinity churches. Harcourt’s representatives on the GUM group are Joan Barham and Dave Hume.

Discussion with Carla Leon at EDGE (UCC) is underway to explore possibilities of our community of faith becoming a ‘community innovation hub’ and hosting ‘community round tables’ to connect with other stakeholders in Guelph. This builds on the work led by Sonya Wu-Winter to help Harcourt learn more about community outreach and engagement. The working group includes Steve Pierce, Bill Chapman, Joan Barham, Tammy teWinkel, Carolyn Davidson and Lorraine Holding. Collaboration with our GUM partners is a factor to consider in discussions related to long-term sustainability for the United Church in Guelph.

As summer months draw nearer, how will our church community continue to adapt? Council will meet as necessary. Our next Zoom connection will be on June 17.

With faith and hope.
Lorraine Holding, Council Chair